By Richards Murphy
I have never been a fan of Atiku Abubakar for just one reason. The fact that he always tries to play smart and on the intelligence of the people by painting a holier than though image in public and the devils incarnate in private.
Those that know who Atiku Abubakar is would always hesitate to have dealings with him because he or she might be on the verge of extinction. The recent statement credited to him as regards a report published by The Wall Street Journal titled “The Secret Burial of 1000 Soldiers Killed by Boko Haram/ISWAP: Nigerians Are Entitled to Know the Truth” is at best the typical Atiku Abubakar at work.
One thing is obvious, and he has refused to come to terms with his electoral defeat at the general elections. While it is normal for individuals to rue a loss, but it is despicable for such individuals to hide under the cover of patriotism to fuel the seed of discord in the polity. It can be understandable of some sort if such individual is driven by passion and a commitment to the unity of the country.
However, this cannot be said of Atiku Abubakar whose history is replete with acts of a disservice to the country, someone who had short-changed the country in ways too numerous to mention. I stand to be corrected, if Nigerians had fallen for the bait put forward by him and voted him as president of this country, we have been done for it.
I am pained penning this article because I expect so much sober reflection from Atiku Abubakar. But the more I except some form of decency from him, the more I get disappointed with his actions and inactions. The recent unguarded statement credited to him serves as a vivid example of lack of patriotism, deception and a grand plot to cast the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari in a bad light in an attempt to instigate the people against the government.
Soon after the report was published, he has gone to press without the courtesy of verifying the claims contained in the report. What does this tell us? A man that wants to by all means curries public sympathy at the detriment of the truth and the collective interest of the country. At this point, I beg to ask questions. Questions that would task the senses of well-meaning Nigerians.
What point was Atiku Abubakar trying to prove with his statement? To score a cheap political point? To lend support to the foreign conspiracy against Nigeria? To appear like the saint who is without blemish? I am lost for words. I am as well pained to the extent that I weep for Nigeria and at the same time grateful to God that Nigerians were not deceived into voting for Atiku Abubakar during the last general elections.
Atiku Abubakar stated that “he read the report by the Wall Street Journal that over a thousand Nigerian soldiers have been secretly buried at night by the Muhammadu Buhari led administration, to hide the true state of the war on terror, with a sense of heartbreak and shock.”
The word heartbreak and shock is what I struggled to come to terms with. I was somewhat confused in the sense that someone with a despicable character could come forward to express a deceitful empathy to the families of the supposed victims as contained in the Wall Street Journal report. The question thus is would such thing if true, happen and go undetected by the eagle-eyed press in Nigeria and those working closely in the theatre of operations in North-East Nigeria? Your guess is as good as mine.
We must learn to call a spade a spade in Nigeria if we are desirous of making progress. Nigeria, as it stands, is not a banana republic and also a free press society where there are no restrictions on press freedom. So for a foreign media organization to put forward such a false narrative is suspect and the fact that members of the opposition would hold on to it and attempt to give credence to it without objectivity is most despicable and how not to be patriotic.
He further stated that “he could not fathom that in the space of a year, 1000 of these great patriots were killed and buried secretly without their families being told.” If this is not mischief, I don’t know what else to call it. Also, coming from someone who aspired to lead the country at the highest level makes it more worrisome.
One thing stands clear. The fact that this is a grand conspiracy with the intent to cause disaffection in the polity. Take it or leave it, this grand deception won’t work, as Nigerians are wiser and in tune with the realities on the ground regardless of what the enemies of Nigeria plan for the disintegration of the country.
The said report is also questionable in the sense that there are no iota objectivity or logical reasoning in its conceptualization and delivery. As a scholar, I am trained to look at issues objectively. However, I must state in unequivocal terms that the Wall Street Journal report is indeed questionable and every discerning Nigeria must look at it carefully to see the plot.
As an individual and by my training, I would put the issues raised in proper perspectives in the interest of posterity and the sensibilities of the close to 200 million Nigerians. I won’t play to the gallery to score a cheap political point. I won’t stoop so low to give credence to a foreign report that is not backed with tangibles. I would ask strategic questions that would ultimately put issues in proper perspective for the unsuspecting members of the general public.
I won’t be quick to take sides. I won’t be quick to paint a gory picture based on unverifiable pieces of evidence. I must as matter of commitment think about Nigeria my country, the land of my birth. I won’t also delve into issues I am not well informed about. Also, I won’t run down my country for a plate of porridge.
This is the story of Atiku Abubakar who has deployed all means to make the country ungovernable. A man that is quick to run down the efforts of the present administration towards uniting Nigerians. So a man who has vowed that Nigeria would not know peace because he lost at the general elections is not one to be taken seriously.
But for how long he intends to carry on in this trend is left to be imagined as one thing stands clear. He has a mission to ensure the disintegration of Nigeria not minding whose ox is gored. This is the real national emergency that Nigerians must confront. And not the half-truths and illogical conclusions. I wonder what Atiku Abubakar stands to gain with his love for bloodshed.
But I have a strong message for him. Nigeria would experience peace regardless of his nocturnal scheming and sponsorship of violence in the country. It would serve him no good now and in the years ahead. At this point, it is advised that he retraces his steps and allow peace to reign supreme in Nigeria for the journey ahead requires all hands to be on deck. A word is enough for the wise.
Murphy, a security expert wrote this piece from Calabar.